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Turkey: Fascinating facts about country where first ever church is located

Turkey officially the Republic of Turkey is located between Western Asia and Southeast Europe.

The country is popularly known for its empires and unique history and culture among others. Turkey was born in 1923 from the remnants of the former Ottoman Empire.

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Santa clause

Saint Nicholas popularly know as Santa Claus, was born in the ancient Lycian city of Patara, Turkey.

Apart from Santa, Turkey has Virgin Mary’s tomb near Ephesus while Saint Paul came from Tarsus.

According to sources, Prophet Abraham, was born in the same country in an area called Şanlıurfa.

It is also believed that during the floods in Noah’s time, he may have stopped his ark at Mt Ararat.

First ever Christian church was located in Antioch.

The first ever Christian church, Grotto of Saint Peter alongside Antioch now Antakya is believed to have been created many decades ago by Jesus’ disciple Simon Peter.

The church has since been named as one of the oldest church in the world.

The place of worship still has ancient decorations which one can visit anytime and see them.


Many of the times people have assumed that Instanbul is the capital of Turkey whereas its capital is Ankara.

What people do not know is that Instanbul is just the country’s largest city.

Ankara, total land area of Ankara is 971 square miles (2,516 square kilometers) was declared capital city of Turkey since it got independence in 1923.


Oils wrestling is Turkey’s National sport. It is also one of the oldest in the country.

The sport started way back in the ancient civilizations of Sumer and Babylon.

The competitors dress in leather pants called Kispet weighing up to 13 kilograms.

It is said that the oil makes the competition fair and easy. The rivals do not require much strength But only need to have the techniques.

The oil applied on skin make the body slippery.

The wrestling sport started in 1346 and has since continued with it being held every year in the country.


While Oil wrestling is Turkey’s National sport and traditional, Football is still played and it is actually the most popular.

The country’s top teams are Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor. Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000.

Turkey’s football teams also finished third in the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan and South Korea.

Other sports played in the country are basketball, volleyball and motorsports among others.


There are more than 30 ethnic languages in Turkey.

The official language spoken in Turkish taking over 90 per cent of the population.

The common ethnic languages spoken in Turkey are Turkish, Kurmanji, Arabic and Zazaki.

Other ethnic languages have very few speakers including, Balkan, Laz, Armenian and Circassian languages.

Also, due to interaction with other countries, Turkey opted to learn foreign languages.

This was also triggered by changing times and modern interactions.

Common foreign languages used in Turkey English, German, and French.


The culture of Turkey combines a very diverse culture derived from elements of the Oğuz Turkic and Anatolian, Ottoman and Western culture among other tradition that followed after Westernization of the Ottoman Empire.

When Turks transformed from Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state thats separated the state and religions, their was an increase in artistic expressions.

The government took part in making it successful by providing necessary resources to individuals doing fine arts such as museums, theatres, and architecture.

No native camels but there is annual camel Wrestling Festival.

The Selçuk Efes Camel Wrestling Festival is held every year.

The festival was started by Turkic tribes more than 2,000 years ago and has continued even today.

It is most popular and common along the west coast of Turkey.

The fighting camels, adorned with decorative rugs, bells, and saddles

The camels usually come from Iran and Afghanistan.

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According to historians, agriculture began in the lands of Turkey over 11,000 years ago.

Inhabitants of Çatalhöyük, a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in south-central Turkey are said to be the first to sown the seeds.

With evidence, these people consumed crops such as wheat and barley. Also, wild grasses genetically identical to first grains still grows in the region even today, Making the country number ten in best grain producer.

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